A Cultural History of Disability in the Renaissance

Dr Susan Anderson, Sheffield Hallam University @DrSusanAnderson In around 1490, Leonardo da Vinci sketched a figure in one of his notebooks that has become known as the Vitruvian Man. As Leonardo’s notes record in his characteristic mirror-writing, the sketch is drawn according to the ideal proportions of the human body, as described by the Roman … Continued

Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England

Dr Jenni Hyde, Lancaster University j.hyde2@lancaster.ac.uk I came to history through music.  As a child, I loved folk songs, both traditional and contemporary, about the past.  I still do.  So you can imagine my delight when I found a set of ballads, or popular songs, on the downfall of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right-hand man … Continued

Japan’s Castles

Dr Oleg Benesch, University of York oleg.benesch@york.ac.uk In spring 2014, the Social History Society Conference at Northumbria University provided a welcome opportunity to visit Newcastle for the first time in some years, and I extended my stay to explore the city, including the various museums, galleries, and the waterfront. I was most interested, however, in … Continued

Venice’s Secret Service: Organizing Intelligence in the Renaissance

Dr Ionanna Iordanou, Oxford Brookes University @IoannaIordanou   According to conventional wisdom, systematised intelligence and espionage are ‘modern’ phenomena, spanning  from the eve of the First World War to the present. Venice’s Secret Service overturns this academic orthodoxy, recounting the arresting story of one of the world’s earliest centrally organised state intelligence organisations. Headquartered in … Continued

Women and the formation of transatlantic Quakerism

Dr Naomi Pullin, University of Warwick naomi.pullin@warwick.ac.uk     In Female Friends and the Making of Transatlantic Quakerism, 1650-1750 I provide the first in-depth exploration of British and colonial Quaker women over the movement’s first century. The central question informing my research is how Quakerism’s transition from a radical sect to a settled church altered … Continued

Public Secrets: Race and colour in colonial and independent Jamaica

Prof Henrice Altink, Department of History, University of York henrice.altink@york.ac.uk @HenriceAltink   It was on my first visit to Jamaica as a PhD student in the 1990s that I noticed the importance of race and colour in Jamaican society. When I went to the bank to cash some travellers’ cheques, I noticed that the doorman … Continued

Researching the Ragged Schools

Dr Laura Mair is REF Impact Officer for the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh. Alongside completing her doctoral research on the ragged school movement, in 2015-16 she acted as research consultant to the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Museum of Childhood for their ‘On Their Own’ exhibition on British child migrants.

In her contribution to the Research, she reflects on her experience of researching the intimate history of children’s and adult’s lives in the Victorian ragged schools, which is the subject of her new book ‘Religion and Relationships in Ragged Schools: An Intimate History of Educating the Poor, 1844-1870’, which is published by Routledge.

How Animals Shaped Georgian London

Dr Thomas Almeroth-Williams is a Research Associate of the University of York’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and a Research Communications Manager at the University of Cambridge. In addition to human–animal interactions, his main interests lie in urban life and the world of work in Georgian Britain.

In his contribution to the Research Exchange, he discusses his hope of bringing animal history firmly into the realm of social history with his new book ‘City of Beasts: How animals shaped Georgian London’ (Manchester University Press, 2019).

Courtship in the Eighteenth Century

Dr Sally Holloway is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in History & History of Art at Oxford Brookes University. With Stephanie Downes and Sarah Randles, she is the co-editor of ‘Feeling Things: Objects and Emotions through History’ (Oxford University Press, 2018).

In her contribution to the Research Exchange, she uses the eighteenth-century courtship of Elizabeth Jeffreys and Charles Pratt to illustrate the key themes of her new book, ‘The Game of Love in Georgian England: Courtship, Emotions, and Material Culture’ (Oxford University Press, 2019).